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Myspace Black Logotype.png
"Myspace's homepage as of February 2016" Site
Type Social Networking Site
Launch Date August 2003
Status Active
Product Line Myspace Music
Platform Web and mobile

Myspace (formerly MySpace) is a social-networking site that allows musicians, designers, artists, writers, photographers, and filmmakers to connect with one another and their fans to collaborate and share their work.[1] Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, the site was founded in 2003 and became the most-visited website in the United States in 2006.[1][2] It was the most popular social networking site in the world until Facebook overtook it in popularity in 2008. [3] Now, it is ranked as the 1,753rd most popular website globally and as the 1,549th most popular website in the United States. Most of its current users come from the United States, India, China, Russia, and the UK. [4] Since its inception, the site has had many ethical issues, including cyberbullying, child and teen safety, privacy, and the "top friends" feature.

History of Myspace

Early History

Myspace was first founded by Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe in August of 2003. It officially launched in January 2004 and quickly had 1 million users by February. [5] In July 2005, News Corp purchased eUniverse, Myspace's parent company, for $580 million. Myspace was valued at $327 million in this deal. [6] In 2008, the site's "chaotic and disorganized interface" went through a redesign, but Facebook still managed to take over as the top social media dog[6][3]. In 2011, the site was acquired by Specific Media for $35 million, which was a 99.3% decrease from its valuation of $327 million.[6] This deal involved Tom Vanderhook, Chris Vanderhook, and Justin Timberlake.[1] Later that year, Specific Media laid off about 500 employees from the company[5]. The company now has approximately 150 employees.[1]

Recent History

On September 24, 2012, Justin Timberlake tweeted a link to a Vimeo video that featured a redesigned Myspace, called the "new Myspace."[7] The video shows a website that utilizes a horizontal navigational layout instead of its old vertical layout and is highly focused on media, including videos, photos, and music.[8]

In January 2013, Myspace launched the redesigned site as part of an open beta phase. Christian Parkes, the VP of Global Marketing, revealed that the site was redesigned with brands in mind due to its radio stations, music mixes, editorial content, and videos.[9] The site is particularly appealing to artists who can utilize analytical listener data. This version of Myspace left its beta phase and launched on June 12, 2013. The launch of the redesigned site included a launch of an iOS app and a new mobile version of the site.[10] Despite being timed to coincide with the release of Timberlake's single "Suit and Tie," the website's relaunch went mostly unnoticed. This was partially due to Facebook launching its graph search in California at the same time.[11]

With the launch of the "New Myspace" and the discontinuation of "Classic MySpace," the company deleted much of the user content that had been on the site prior to the redesign. With the removal of blogs, private messages, videos, comments, posts, and games, many users complained that they had lost priceless memories and personal communications between loved ones and friends. This was especially upsetting for users who lost art, journals, diaries, poetry, and conversations with people who had passed away. The company did not offer any warning to users that their content would be deleted, and they did not offer any solutions for people to retrieve their content.[12]

On February 11, 2016, Time Inc. acquired the assets of Viant, Specific Media's parent company. With the acquisition of Viant's assets (and consequently Myspace), Time hopes to use the site's data on its users to better target ads to specific audiences, link devices to specific people, and assist marketers in placing ads. Time will now have access to 1 million global Myspace accounts and email addresses.[13] Viant CEO Tim Vanderhook has stated that he believes this merger with Time will allow them to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook by combining high-quality content with first-party data.[14]

Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson

Co-founder Tom Anderson quickly became the face of the company because he was automatically added as a default friend of all new Myspace users.[15] After the site's launch, Anderson became the first president of Myspace.[6] After the News Corp acquisition, he was replaced as president in April, 2009.[16] By 2010, he was no longer the Myspace default friend. He was replaced by a new profile called "Today On Myspace," or T.O.M. Mike Jones, co-president at the time, said that this was done to leave new users with a better sense of what they can get on Myspace.[17]

Now, Anderson has a very active following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. On each of these sites, he boasts the username "myspacetom." After attending the Burning Man festival in 2011, he has now devoted his life and travels to photography[18] He posts to Instagram daily, and will sometimes post photos to Facebook as well. Although once rivals with Facebook, he now uses the site freely. On September 18, 2011, he made the following post about the site[19]:

People seem very confused why I'm on Facebook. I've had a profile since 2005 and a "fan page" since 2009. FB just created a feature where you can "subscribe" to profiles. They asked me if I wanted to convert my "page" into a simpler profile. Complicated? I suppose. Why am I not on MySpace? Because, I left the company in early 2009, and like most of you, I don't like using it anymore.. not a fan of what the new folks have done with MySpace.

Ethical Implications


Myspace has come under attack for instances of cyberbullying. Most notably, thirteen-year-old Megan Meier committed suicide after being cyberbullied on Myspace. In 2006, Megan began receiving Myspace messages from "Josh Evans," a sixteen-year-old boy who allegedly lived in the area but was homeschooled. Their friendship blossomed for six weeks, but on October 15, 2006, Megan received a message from Josh that stated: "I don't know if I want to be friends with you anymore because I've heard that you are not very nice to your friends." The next day, he messaged her and said something to the effect of, "Everybody in O'Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you." Megan then hung herself in her closet, committing suicide. She died the next day.[20] It was later revealed that Josh Evans did not exist. The profile was created by Lori Drew, the mother of a former friend of Megan's, and then eighteen-year-old Ashley Grills. The Drews and Grills created the account to get close to Megan to see what she had been saying about Drew's daughter. Grills admitted to sending the final message as "Josh" to Megan to end their relationship so that the "cruel joke" could end.[21]

Top Friends

The concept of Top Friends was a concept that Myspace used ever since it was created. This allowed users to place their 'favorite' friends, whose pictures and profile links would be featured on the page of the user. This would often result in controversies among users on Myspace and who would be on their top friends. Sure, these may seem like a minimal problem (a simple feature that causes distress among children), but it does question the ethics behind this feature. A feature like this is a rating system, and publicly displays the opinions of one against others on their page. This could be considered unethical because implications are there to make someone feel less important than another based on their position on a top friends list.


After Facebook overtook Myspace as the most popular social media website, Myspace tried to poise itself as the safer and more private alternative to Facebook. In 2010, a user ID was exposed after another Myspace clicked on an ad while browsing a profile, revealing the identity of the page where the ad was clicked. It did not reveal any data that was not made "public" through the site's security features but it proved that the Myspace was not as safe and private as users had hoped.[22]

Child and Teen Safety

Myspace has been frequently criticized for being a platform that compromises the safety of children and teens. There have been many notable cases of this.

Katherine Lester

In June 2006, sixteen-year-old Katherine Lester fled her home in Michigan to fly to Jericho, a city in the West Bank of Palestine. Lester planned to meet her Myspace boyfriend, twenty-year-old Abdullah Jinzawi. Lester managed to make it out of the country all the way to Amman, Jordan. There, she was intercepted by U.S. authorities, who persuaded her to fly back to Michigan. Lester then dumped Jinzawi in 2007 while appearing on "Dr. Phil." [23]

"Kiki Kannibal"

"Kiki Kannibal" was the pseudonym for fourteen-year-old Kristen "Kiki" Ostrenga. "Kiki Kannibal," Ostrenga's online persona, was a "scene kid" who became famous on Myspace, and later Ostrenga's fame led to her romantic involvement with Danny "Mr. MySpace" Cespedes. Cespedes later raped Ostrenga and many other underage girls who he had met on Myspace. Cespedes later died after falling into a coma while attempting to flee from police officers attempting to arrest him for seven felony counts of statutory rape. After receiving threats and many counts of online harassment, the Ostrenga family eventually moved and lost their home. She still has an active online presence today.[24]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 About Myspace
  2. MySpace, America's Number One
  3. 3.0 3.1 More Americans Go To Facebook Than MySpace,2817,2348822,00.asp)
  4. Myspace Site Overview
  5. 5.0 5.1 Myspace History: A Timeline Of The Social Network's Biggest Moments
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 MySpace
  8. The new Myspace
  9. Myspace's Pitch to Brands
  10. The new, new Myspace leaves beta — launches a revised design, new features, & a mobile app
  11. Myspace publicly unveils its revamped site – to little excitement
  12. MySpace Deletes Your Stuff
  13. Time Inc. Acquires Viant, And It's All About The Data
  14. The CEO of Myspace tells us why he just sold the company to Time Inc.
  15. Tom Anderson
  16. Founders Step Aside at MySpace
  17. MySpace outlines makeover after exec shakeup
  18. Myspace Co-Founder Tom Anderson's New Life as a Landscape Photographer
  19. Tom Anderson on Facebook
  20. Megan's Story
  21. Exclusive: Teen Talks About Her Role in Web Hoax That Led to Suicide
  22. It's Not Just Facebook: MySpace Transmitted Personal Data
  23. Teen Dumps Foreign Beau On "Dr. Phil"
  24. Kiki Kannibal: The Girl Who Played With Fire

External Links